As I sit here today in 2009, I have always been fixated on the past. Reading, Movies, etc. Whatever contained the past (anything before 1960). That’s why I decided to trace my family and do a family tree.
As I began I found out that my mom did not have a whole lot of information on both sides of her line. So my journey began. I started with the information that was given to me by my mom, by her having so little, was not much to go by. All she knew at that time was that her mom was born in Cotton Valley, Louisiana that is in Webster Parish. Searched my grandmother’s name Odessa Amos but could not find her. At that point I found Ancestry’s message boards and found a Board for African Americans and left a post under the state Louisiana. To my dismay, someone answered and told me my great grandmother Amanda was living with her sister Martha in Police Jury Ward 2, Webster Parish with her 4 children, but the spelling was off. Ah! that’s why I Could not find her.
That’s one thing that I’ve learned about this research, education was not top priority back then, so spelling of names and what year a person was born may be off, waaay offf!!
Starting from there I learned that my great grandmother Amanda was part of a real big family(my mom said that her mom always said that it was 8 girls). My biggest problem with that is the family name. It was known as ROBINSON, but during my research I found the family under ROBERTSON. Which I learned later is actually the same surname. I was later able to locate my great great grandfather Ben Robertson in 1880. He was a farmer and owned and farmed his own land. He was married to my great great grandmother Mandy (surname Bryant) At that point there were only 8 children in the home and there were at least three boys.
My great grandmother Amanda was born in 1881, she was born after the census was taken, her sister Martha was born in 1883, and there was a sister Annie born about 1885. there 8 girls and 3 boys. The 1890 census were destroyed in a fire, so I was never able to locate the family in the same household. Fast forward 1900, not able to locate Amanda and her children, but family was still in the same area and Martha had married Robert B Bell. Forward on to 1910 and 1920 was able to locate Amanda. She passed away in 1926 in Chicago, IL. Thus that is where Odessa settled and met my grandfather Robert L Smith and had my mom who had me.
The reason for the blog is for those that are beginners and pros to leave posts about their families. I love the fact that I was able to locate all Ben’s children in that one area Webster Parish Policy Jury Ward 2. See to me that’s what family is. We stick together through thick and thin. We might not always get along, but no one else can bother us. I was able to locate the sisters, the sisters children, and some of the sisters children children up till the 1930 census. One thing that I have learned was that the family stayed in that area and stayed together. Even those that moved to Chicago stayed in a general area. I was able to get in contact with one of the sister’s Emma Long granddaughter Clarene LONG (Emma Long married a Sam Long). My tree contains all the sisters, their husbands, and their children.
My research is not done. Ben and Mandy are from Georgia. What city and county, do not know and that is what I am working on now. Ben’s last name was ROBERTSON and Mandy’s last name is BRYANT. If you are from GA, and looking for family that migrated to LA with these two surnames, leave me a message. MAYBE WE ARE RELATED!!!!!